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Am I enabling or encouraging my daughter in an unhealthy relationship if I keep my granddaughter with me?

My daughter is involved again with the father of her youngest daughter. This is the third time that she has become involved with him--the first time, after they moved in together, he put her out when she was six months pregnant, and had nothing to do with her until she was about to deliver. When their baby was three months old, he physically abused her to the point of having to go to trial for domestic violence. Now, she is seeing him again, and staying at his place several nights a week and most weekends, along with both her daughters (he is not the father of the oldest). I have forbidden him to come to our house. I have refused to babysit when my daughter wants to spend time with him, yet I don't feel right about my oldest granddaughter being in this situation.
I know that there's nothing I can do keep my daughter from being involved with him; yet I feel guilty, seeing my granddaughter in this situation.

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Asked by Dreen at 9:47 PM on Jul. 19, 2010 in Adult Children (18+)

Level 1 (3 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • I say our daughter is the adult- she has to choose. your granddaughter is not, and need you.
    Please do all you can to keep her out of the unhealthy situations-

    Please be there for her- be prepared to hear a lot of 'but you aren't her mother' comments from all kinds of people.
    sometimes it takes someone other than the mother to help out a child, it's worth it in the long run.

    good luck !

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:50 PM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • Have you sat down and talked to her and have you asked her what is she going to do when he starts hitting her kids there are things she must see. This is a scary place because if she does not want to let him go all you can do is be there for her kids. GL Momma

    Answer by pinkdragon36 at 9:53 PM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • I think you need to keep both girls home with you. This guy is abusive, who knows when he'll turn on the children. Ask you daughter who matters more, Him or her daughters. Once an abuser always an abuser. Get it through her head that he can physically hurt her children, and she needs to wise up and get rid of that loser.

    Answer by mommy_of_two388 at 9:56 PM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • I agree with the others. You need to protect your grandchildren from him. Your daughter is making tragic choices, but don't let her make those choices for your innocent grandchildren. Good luck!

    Answer by degsyuna at 10:01 PM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • I agree, you need to do all you can to keep these kids safe. If it comes down to it, report her and file for custody.
    You could show her pictures of women and children who have been beaten to death. There are pictures in books about abuse and you could probably find some online. Show her stories about people in her situation. Women who went back to an abuser and took their kids. Women whose children either watched them die or were killed right along side her.
    It sounds like it's time to show her the harsh reality.
    Good luck.

    Answer by Kiwismommy19 at 10:06 PM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • Since your daughter has already been staying with him with her daughters, I don't think you'd be enabling her by having the girls stay with you. I think you would be keeping them safe, and I think it would be a very good idea. I have a family member whose sister had to take her son, and has permanent custody now because she has been using IV drugs and disappearing for days at a time. Living with an abusive man is no better. If it were me, if I had the slightest inkling that anyone in that house was being abused, I would be calling CPS.

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 10:08 PM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • Since you can't do anything about what she is doing, you can at least keep the grand daughters safe from the man. I would keep the girls away as much as possible.

    Answer by older at 8:01 AM on Jul. 20, 2010

  • I can't imagine how heart-wrenching this must be for you. To see your daughter make the choices that she is making. In my opinion, it is so very important to be there for your grandaughters. Give them your love and stability. Let them know that they can always come to you and that you will always be there for them no matter what the circumstances. Teach them your phone number so that they can reach you and tell them they can call you anytime, day or night.

    I don't have any suggestions about how to deal with your daughter . . . . maybe you should contact a counselor or psychologist and see if there is anything you can do for her. I'm really sorry for the pain and anguish you must feel.

    Answer by SandraD101 at 11:12 AM on Jul. 20, 2010

  • It is a fine line to walk - protecting grandchildren and enabling daughter. Sounds like some counseling for your entire family might be needed.

    Answer by twinsplus2more at 4:43 PM on Jul. 20, 2010

  • your precious child (because no matter hoow old she is, she will always be your little girl) needs help FAST! she is in a very serious situation and her physical, psychological and emotional health will be affected for years, maybe even decades to come. something is making her believe that all she deserves is abuse. and it's not something you can fix yourself. this requires a trained professional. check around for domestic violence shelters in your community. most domestic violence shelters have counseling available for fre or a sliding scale based on her income. keeping the children away from the abuser is very important as well. most men who abuse women will abuse little girls as well. in fact, children are more likely to be abused or even murdered by violent men who are not their biological fathers and who have been placed in a father-substitute role.

    Answer by ruejacobs at 11:02 AM on Jul. 22, 2010

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